Maeve glances at her husband, then stares at the black bird hopping closer to the open doorway. The raven stops cocks its head, and stares back at Maeve with one shiny beady black eye. They remain locked this way for several moments.
“Share!” it croaks at her. “Share!”
Still staring at the black bird, Maeve whispers, “It can speak!”
“Well,” Marek sighs, “that’s usually the problem. He usually speaks wrong things. Or right things, at the wrong times.” He takes hold of her hand and gently tilts her head toward his. “My brother is a liar and a troublemaker. Now, I want to talk about you.”
“Me?” She asks, her eyes troubled.
“Maeve, tell me about your parents.”
The shake of her head is almost imperceptible. “I’ve told you about them before.”
“You told me your father was a fisherman. You didn’t tell me their names.”
Maeve withdraws her hands from Marek’s. She rises to her feet and backs toward the wall.
“Okay,” Marek says gently. He holds his hands in front of him in a non-threatening gesture. “Let’s start somewhere easier. Do you remember when we met? You and I?”
The tiniest of smiles flashes across her pale face. She takes a step toward him. “We were at a dance. You wanted me to let you ask me to dance; I could see that in the way you looked at me. But the dance was over; the band had packed things away. Then a terrible storm hit,” she takes another step forward, “and the only thing left was for the people to stay until it passed, and for the band to keep playing.” Another step. “You finally asked me to dance, but you didn’t say a thing. You asked me with your eyes, and we met in the centre of the floor. It’s funny,” she says, closing the distance between them, “it was like we were the only couple there.”
Marek slides his strong arm around her waist. “Do you remember where that was?”
“No, I’ve forgotten where that was. It was at a hall, at a town, nearby. I remember the carriages all along the road, and the lovely dresses all the ladies wore.”
“Who was it you went with to that dance?” Marek asks quietly, kissing the top of Maeve’s head.
“I don’t remember,” Maeve answers, her voice somewhat shaky. “Was it…my sisters?”